Bubble Enterprises 5th Annual Enterprise and Mental Health Conference

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  • Good afternoon, my name is belinda barnard, I am going to talk to you today about Partnership Working, and I am going to tell you about a group that I was involved with for 14 years that brought independent hardware retailers together, under one brand right across the UK from the shetland isles to the south coast of england and in northern ireland. These retailers were in different communities, towns, villages, city centres, in different sized stores, and , at the time of joining had different product ranges ,
  • So why would they band together, the good with the mediocre, the wise with the foolish, the large with the small? What would drive them together, change theit ranges, buy from the group suppliers, change the name over the door and pay for the privellege? What did they all have in common that caused the group to grow to over 200 stores What they had in common was a desire to improve their stores, train their staff and raise their profits and a willingness to compromise in order to achieve their dream and to fit in with group activity.
  • Well, all over the developed world there are groups of businesses operating like this, in all different industries and the with owners from all walks of life, but all of these business are owned and managed by run by like minded people, people who want to improve, strive to do better, want to grow their business for the good of the customer, the good of the staff and to improve their own lives,
  • Anyone who wants to do better, be better and achieve more and are willing to participate, share and commit themselves and their business to the group. We had lots of members, some with one store, some with more than one store, they all had their own reasons for joining Mica, Mr Thompson from Radstock was 70 years old when he joined the group, he promised his wife that when they had increased their turnover by 20% that would pay for a manager and then they would retire, the business grew by 20% in the first year, but Tom was enjoying himself so much, he never retired, and I am sure that’s exactly what his wife expected. Joyce Hall from Chapel en le Frith, she joined because turnover was falling and she was worried that they would have to close the business, within a couple of years her turnover had risen 250% and expanded into the kitchen showroom forcing her husband to go and find another premises for his business, Others had a son or nephew who would inherit the business and wanted them to have a support structure in place for when the business became theirs, others wanted to sell up and needed to find a buyer and thought it would be easier if the business had more value and was part of a group that would help the new owner – We had large sucessful flagship shops who had seen the deesimation of the market place and joined the group to add their weight with the suppliers and help out the little guy, the fact that their own business grew by double digits year on year for the first 3 years was an added bonus. But I can hear you say, what’s that got to do with me, it’s an interesting storey but my business is different, bigger, more complicated, that really is an excuse, all like minded business can benefit from banding together, sharing the economies of scale, sharing best practice and supporting and being supported by your peers. There are many simillar oragnisations operating in this way, some with household names, others in the background and you will never know them. Here are just a few
  • Things that work well in a group; All the things that you pay less for if you buy a lot – leaflets, advertsing space, products, uniforms, carrier bags – in those days you were allowed to use them! Purchasing, group terms negotiations, price, service, information, cohesion Branding, Advertising and Marketing, point of sale, leaflet distributions, TV Advertising Systems, creation, improvement, identifying and adopting best practice
  • We introduced group standards, and people to police it, we had light meters and we upped the lighting to 1000 lux so the customers could see the products, we introduced mixed margins so we looked cheap on the products that the superstores looked cheap on and we could be just as expensive as them on the lines you didn’t know the price of, and you know what, we could compete, we could match their prices and we made more money, When we told people what we had we sold more products, we had dissention, Ted Ray Ted’s Mica Hardware in Stretford, told me I was an idiot if I thought he would sell log baskets, n-one has a real fire any more, all his cusomers lived in high rise flats, waste of time, a week later he phoned me up, do you know, Belinda he said, the first person through the door when the leaflets went out came in and asked for a log basket, have you got a log fire I asked her, no she said, but it’s just what I need to throw in the kids toys when they go to bed! The services here are too many to mention, let’s just say we provided a lot, a lot more than they had before and it worked, it was our dream to turn shops like this
  • Into shops like
  • We introduced uniforms so the customers could spot the staff, ask questions and make a purchase, we printed banners and posters to tell passers by that we had great prices and inform them about our ranges, we brought retailers together at meetings on a National and regional basis to keep informed, share experience, stop reinventing the wheel put your energy into proven improvements that are guaranteed to make a difference, What I didn’t know was we also supporting entrepreneurs from the Mental health arena, one lady explained to me that her husband had given up his job as a natioanl sales manager after a period of lillness, they had bought a hardware store, then another and really struggled even then to get the economies of scale, her husband slipped further into depression and would never have worked in 20 years if they hadn’t had their business, and she would never have been able to run the business if it wasn’t for the support of Mica. So quitely because he wouldn’t want anyone to know, she had broken the taboo and admitted that there was a mental health problem, they were dealing with it and the business is what got him up in the morning, and if he couldn’t get up it was still there for him when he could. Amongst our members was a wholle mixture of people, recovering alcoholics, current alcoholics, depression, anxiety, aspsergus sydrome, that I knew of.
  • Benchmarking – group information supplied anonymously to all the group so they could compare how their own store was performing relative to others. Sales per sqft Sales per employee Average salary for staff Rent Sales growth/contraction over 3 years Peer support, independent businesses can be isolated and have no-one’s relevant experience to draw from, always re-inventing the wheel. Visiting and sharing ideas and information with non-competing businesses in the same industry, brotherhood. Example; Homebase opening in same town as Mica store, patterns emerging, battle plans drawn up, thrive and survive, despair and capitulation avoided. New product recommendations We aslo mystery shopped the stores, we engaged a professional mystery shopping company and designed a brief and what we were looking for, what a shock it was for the members when we announced it at the national conference, they had no idea that they’d been mystery shopped, we annonymously presented some of the comments that came back, What were the staff doing as you entered the shop – sitting on the counter and smoking! Eating their lunch – chips and gravy Chatting Ignoring me We asked for the answer to a diy problem, did they have the answer? Some right some wrong, some embarrassed faces But it did add a lot of fun, the following month as one of the members wrestled a shoplifter to the floor and his manager sat on the man whilst the owner rang the police, one shouted to the other, “ I hope it’s not the bloody mystery shopper”
  • I have now joined Bubble Enterprises to help out cafes in the mental health arena to work together in the same way under one brand for the good of the business, the staff and volunteers and the supply chain who are made up of people from the mental health community many of whom have stood before you today.


  • 1. Welcome to 5th Enterprise & Mental Health Conference
    • 18 th June 2010
    • Manchester Business School
  • 2. Definition of Entrepreneurship entrepreneurship is the “ creative mindset ” that drives individuals to create new ideas and bring these to the market in a way appropriate to create value for an external audience (Faltin, 2007)
  • 3.
    • Professor John A Murphy
    • Telefónica O2 Professor of Customer Management
  • 4. Empowering Communities and Sustainability in New Times
    • Right Honourable Sir Gerald Kaufman MP
    • Member of Parliament Manchester Gorton
    • Member of the Privy Council
  • 5. Entrepreneurs Panel Don Phillips - facilitator
      • Ray Knowles
      • Dianne Scott-Fowler
      • Robert Hart
      • Stephen Lee
      • Tess Reddington
      • Marilyn Cuffy
      • Jane Matthewman
      • Anne Guy
  • 6. Social Enterprise Panel Ann Jordan - facilitator
      • Altogether Positive
        • Shirley Dean, Jackie Sanderson, Doreen Roberts
      • Progress House Stockport Day Centre
        • Cath Finn, Graham Dawson
      • Start in Salford
        • Bernadette Conlon, Ben Thomas
      • Bubble Cafe
        • Sue Dixon, Peter Thompson
  • 7. Altogether Positive
        • Shirley Dean
        • Jackie Sanderson
        • Doreen Roberts
  • 8.  
  • 9.  
  • 10.  
  • 11. Stockport Day Centre at Progress House
        • Cath Finn
        • Graham Dawson
  • 12. Coach House Cafe "caring for the community"
  • 13. Start in Salford
        • Bernadette Conlon
        • Ben Thomas
    Mission is to promote emotional well-being and recovery by providing creative arts-based activities and training opportunities for people who are, or maybe at risk of experiencing mental health difficulties or social exclusion
  • 14.  
  • 15. Bubble Cafes
        • Sue Dixon
        • Peter Thompson
    • Enterprise making a difference
      • Bubble cafes
      • Bubble courses
      • Supply chain development
      • Consultancy engagement
  • 16. Bubble Cafes
    • Mental health community
      • High quality, modern, supportive & friendly
      • Majority of staff and volunteers from the mental health community
      • Supply chain opportunity
  • 17. Growing Enterprise
    • Bubble Courses – engage entrepreneurs
        • AWE project in Wigan & Leigh
        • SHA programme NorthWest wide
        • Bubble Entrepreneurs Network
    • Inspire Centre
        • Joint venture with Levenshulme United Reformed Church
        • Business incubation developing local entrepreneurs
        • Bubble cafe and retail space
    [email_address] 0161 282 4512
  • 18. Social Enterprise Panel Ann Jordan - facilitator
      • Altogether Positive
        • Shirley Dean, Jackie Sanderson, Doreen Roberts
      • Progress House Stockport Day Centre
        • Cath Finn, Graham Dawson
      • Start in Salford
        • Bernadette Conlon, Ben Thomas
      • Bubble Cafe
        • Sue Dixon, Peter Thompson
  • 19. Commissioning Perspective –Enterprise and Self Directed Support. The Stockport Experience Nick Dixon Joint Commissioning Manager, Mental Health Bubble Conference18 th June 2010 Individual Budgets
  • 20. Starting Point….
    • Recovery and Social Inclusion
    • Personal growth, self management, goals and aspirations, purpose in life, hope and resilience
    • Opportunities to realise hopes
    • Goal is independence and quality of life
  • 21. Language important….
    • Goal is Independent Living
    • The Policy Direction is Personalisation
    • The system is Self Directed Support
    • Combined funding sources- Individual Budgets
    • Social Care funding only- Personal Budgets
    • Means- through Direct Payments or Provided Services
  • 22.
    • Using a pure model of self directed support
    • Target group- people under Pennine Care
    • Aim- to learn about effective brokerage methods- in house workforce, peer brokerage, third sector brokerage
    • Establish a user led social enterprise
    • Draw in funding streams
    The Stockport Pilot : February 2009- ongoing
  • 23.
    • 93 personal budget holders on CPA
    • 144 in less than 16 months
    • 53 applications to the Recovery Budget in 12 months (average £300)
    • 57 different FT staff proactively involved in pilot
    • ‘ All Together Positive’ now support planning
    • Outcomes very encouraging
    In 12 months
  • 24. Personal Budgets/direct payments have shown how differently people might do things
    • Buying a dog
    • Purchase of artists materials and college course fees
    • Driving lessons/buying a car
    • Horse riding and equipment
    • Employing personal assistants, including in crisis to avoid hospital admission
    • Joining a dating agency
    • Buying an acoustic guitar and lessons
    • Weekends away in the Lakes, National Trust membership
    • Thai boxing, bellydancing and skateboarding
    • Greenhouse and gardening expertise
    • Paying for travelling to stay with relative for a break
  • 25. Challenge and learning specific to enterprise
    • Accessibility, flexibility and choice key
    • Need to develop the market place
    • Support to individuals to do it differently
    • Peer support and co-production key
    • Risk of the market being dominated
    • Enterprise creation
  • 26.
    • FLAG for local advice and guidance
    • The Market- Citizens as commissioners
    • Developing micro businesses- opportunities for entrepreneurs
    • Online self assessment, support planning and market place
    Building Capacity in Stockport - some initiatives
  • 27.
    • FLAG provides an accessible assisted signposting service, enabling the residents of Stockport to get accurate local advice and guidance about adult health and social care
  • 28.  
  • 29.
    • Citizens as commissioners –personal budgets holders and self funders
    • Not just about personal budgets-people need options
    • Risk of market failing to provide or being dominated by larger providers limiting diversity
    • Not everyone wants to be an employer-need wide range of choices in the market place
    • Role of LAs and partners to stimulate the market
    The Market
  • 30. Micro Social Care Enterprises
    • DH Pilot sites Kent and Oldham
    • Tend to provide health, social care or leisure related services
    • Delivered by 5 or fewer workers – paid or unpaid
    • Independent, personal, tailored, flexible and responsive to change
    • Choice and diversity
    • Co-produced and firmly rooted in communities
    • Local services for local people provided by local people
    • http://www.dhcarenetworks.org.uk/Personalisation/Topics/Browse/Commissionersandproviders/?parent=2735&child=5784
    • http://www.naaps.org.uk/en/community-catalysts-ltd/
  • 31.
    • Website; www.mycaremychoice.org.uk
    • Next stage of development interactive RAS (specialist design in mental health service area)
    • Goals and aspirations, needs, support planning and …..
    • The market place
    Online Solutions
  • 32.
    • Nick Dixon
    • [email_address]
    • 07866 999540
    • Jude Wells
    • [email_address]
    • 07800 618811
    Contact details
  • 33. Partnership Working Belinda Barnard
  • 34.
      • Why?
  • 35.
      • What is it all about?
  • 36.
    • Who is it good for?
  • 37. Group Working Benefits
    • Things that work well in a group;
    • Purchasing,
    • - Buy better
    • Branding, Advertising and Marketing,
    • - Sell better
    • Systems, creation, improvement, identifying and adopting best practice
    • - Cost less
  • 38. Services
    • Retail operations Store development Layout Merchandising Staff training Sharing and passing on best practice Refurbishment
    • Advertising
    • Product promotions
    • Local promotion and celebration activities, events etc.
    • PR
    • POS and signage
    • Group purchasing Stock Epos Items not for resale Energy
    • Mystery Shopping
    • Regional and National Meetings
    • Trade shows
    • Central payment facility – one statement, one cheque, up to 150 suppliers
    • Help in resolving invoice queries
  • 39. Unbranded Independent
  • 40.  
  • 41. Benefits
    • Benchmarking
    • Peer support
    Sustainability Making more money
  • 42. Works for all Take the good with the bad Overall there will be a benefit
  • 43. Paul Greenwood - facilitator
      • Dave Wilson, Tameside MBC
      • Malcolm Kennedy, Merseycare
      • Nick Dixon, Stockport MBC
      • Harpreet Kaur, Manchester MHSCT
    Strategic Health Authority Mental Health Improvement Programme
  • 44. Strategic Health Authority Mental Health Improvement Programme Enterprise and Mental Health Programme Leigh Wharton Louise Pinfold
  • 45. Background
    • Summer / Autumn 2009
    • Review of existing initiatives
        • areas of activity in enterprise
        • current enterprise provision / strengthen existing
        • development of enterprising services
        • barriers to development
        • appetite for change
    • Initially Greater Manchester (LAs, PCTs, MHTs)
    • Overview and proposal for next steps
  • 46.
    • Started in April 2010 (complete in March 2012)
    • North West region
        • Demand / Existing contacts
        • Extend learning and good practice
    • Involvement
        • 7 committed organisations (paid up)
        • Room for more (2 interested)
    • Methodology
        • Individual and shared / joint projects
        • Steering group
        • SHA overview and guidance
    What’s happening now?
  • 47. Overview
    • Enterprise Engagement, Creativity and Change
    • Creation of an Enterprise or Services
    • Developing Sustainability
    • Individualised Budgets
  • 48. Enterprise Engagement, Creativity and Change
    • Enterprise courses
      • Users/carers/staff
      • Board level
      • Area/function
    • Events
    • Conferences
    • Entrepreneurs Network
    • Changing perceptions
    • Creativity & solution finding
    • Cross fertilisation of ideas
      • Small/large organisations
      • Staff/managers/users/careers
    • Widening peer to peer support
    • Review & publish outputs
  • 49. Creation of an Enterprise or Service
  • 50. Developing Sustainability
    • Changing mindset on decision making
    • Challenging/refining market concept
    • Change of direction
    • Growth
    • Independent review
  • 51. Individualised Budgets
    • Identify gaps and solutions
    • Symposium – share & present models
    • Resource Allocation System
    • Implementation of provision
    • Devise payment system
  • 52. Progress to date
    • First steering group held
    • Some projects initiated
    • Seeking additional organisations / projects
    Next Steps & Plans
    • Bubble to facilitate and drive activity
    • Overall timetable to be followed
  • 53. Paul Greenwood - facilitator
      • Dave Wilson, Tameside MBC
      • Malcolm Kennedy, Merseycare
      • Nick Dixon, Stockport MBC
      • Harpreet Kaur, Manchester MHSCT
      • Leigh Wharton, Louise Pinfold, Bubble Ent
    Strategic Health Authority Mental Health Improvement Programme